This icon depicts the 18th-century saint Dmitry of Rostov (1651-1709). Dmitry of Rostov was a supporter of the ‘Cossack’ or ‘Ukrainian’ Baroque style of art and architecture. The style of this icon shows how Western art came to influence icon paintings in the 17th and 18th centuries.
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This icon, which depicts the major Orthodox religious celebrations of the year, is known as a ‘full cycle icon’ or ‘polnitsy/полницы’. It depicts seventeen great feasts and the four evangelists —Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John— in the corners. The central scene shows the Anastasis (known in English as The Harrowing of Hell and in Russian […]
Russian enamel was famous in Europe and reached a peak during the 18th century when most of the great Russian jewellers and workshops in Moscow and St Petersburg produced it. Such icons had groups of saints that commemorated important locations in Russia, such as Rostov Veliky, the place of the Abraham Monastery, one of Russia’s […]
John the Baptist is shown in hairshirt, holding a paten (known in Orthodoxy as a diskos) containing Christ as the Eucharistic Lamb of God. He holds a text from John 1:29: ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,’. The wings symbolise John’s role as ‘The Angel of the Desert’ […]
The Resurrection is the most important feast of the Orthodox liturgical calendar. It celebrates Christ’s resurrection and descent into hell where he rescued Adam and Eve, the biblical kings Solomon and David, St John the Baptist and other Old Testament figures. The Descent into Hell comes from the apocryphal Book of Nicodemus. This event is […]
The earthy colours used in the painting of this icon show that it came from the north of Russia. The icon is likely to have an earlier date than the oklad (ornamental cover). This example has fabric on the back of it. The fabric on the back of an icon is often referred to as […]
This 18th century Russian icon carries the inscription Архангел Гавриил, Arkhangel Gabriil. The icon would have been part of an ensemble containing the heads of the Archangel Michael, the Archangel Gabriel and Christ Emmanuel. This iconography became increasingly commonplace after the 17th century.
This small icon is an example of a travelling icon, dating from the late 17th century. The central panel depicts Christ attended by the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist, with the four evangelists and two other figures, probably Peter and Paul. John holds a scroll with the opening passage ‘Behold the lamb of God, […]
St Florus and St Laurus were the patron saints of horses in Slavic countries. Icons such as this were generally personalised according to the needs of the buyer and often depicted saints that were Christianised replacements of Slavic Gods and Goddesses.
This Russian icon shows Saint Nicholas in the traditional robes and floral stole of an Orthodox bishop. He is shown full-length with his right hand raised in blessing and a closed Gospel in his raised left hand. Nicholas is flanked by Christ and the Virgin. The icon carries an inscription in Slavonic, translated as ‘Image […]